One of the Most Important Principles in Reading the Bible

John Piper

Sometimes readers of the Bible see the conditions that God lays down for his blessing and they conclude from these conditions that our action is first and decisive, then God responds to bless us.

That is not right.

There are indeed real conditions that God often commands. We must meet them for the promised blessing to come. But that does not mean that we are left to ourselves to meet the conditions or that our action is first and decisive.

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Why Was Zedekiah Roasted in the Fire

John Piper

The horrors of physical suffering correspond to the horrors of moral and spiritual outrage. Sometimes this means that people’s suffering is directly correlated with their immorality and belittling of God. This will be the case, for example, with the eternal suffering of hell. It will correspond in perfectly just measure with the outrage of an individual’s sin.

But often the correlation is indirect. Everyone suffers physically because of the outrage of Adam’s sin, and because of God’s subjecting all of…

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Why We Love the Doctrines of Grace

John Piper

Unconditional election delivers the harshest and the sweetest judgments to my soul.

That it is unconditional destroys all self-exaltation; and that it is election makes me his treasured possession.

This is one of the beauties of the biblical doctrines of grace: their worst devastations prepare us for their greatest delights.

What prigs we would become at the words, “The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are…

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Should Christians Say That Their Aim Is to Convert Others?

John Piper

First of all, why am I asking this question? Three reasons:

  1. Because in our delicate and dangerous setting of global religious pluralism, how we speak about our aims can get us kicked out of a country or worse.
  2. Because we want to follow Paul’s pattern of honesty: "But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience…
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Amazing Grace in the Wreckage of Adultery

Jon Bloom

In staff devotions recently we were in Proverbs 6. Solomon warns his son against the devastation of adultery. In verses 32-33 he writes,

He who commits adultery lacks sense; 
   he who does it destroys himself. 
He will get wounds and dishonor, 
   and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

For Solomon, every warning against adultery must have been haunted by the memory of his father and mother, David and Bathsheba. Imagine what he must have felt. He was…

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God Gives the Equipment and Makes It Successful

John Piper

What does the blood of the eternal covenant secure for us? It secures both God’s equipping of us and the successful use of that equipment to make our lives pleasing to God.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,

  • equip you with everything good that you may do his will,
  • working in us that which is pleasing in his…
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Rebuilding Some Basics of Bethlehem: The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace

John Piper

Grace is not only God’s disposition to do good for us when we don’t deserve it. It is an actual power from God that acts and makes good things happen in us and for us. For example, Paul says,

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is…

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Real Choice, Divine Sway, and the Way Paul Lived

John Piper

One of the most influential passages in the Bible that God used to open my mind to his sovereignty over my will is Philippians 2:12-13.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

So my working and willing are necessary. They are real. But they are not first or ultimately decisive. God’s willing and working is decisively under and in my…

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We Will Be Glorified for the Glory of God

John Piper

Someday, at the coming of the Lord Jesus, all who are in Christ will be glorified.

Those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)

The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

That is, we will be glorious.

The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43)

But our glory will not be our…

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Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

Jon Bloom
It's very important that we count the cost of sexual immorality before temptation hits. That's the time for clear thinking. Temptation clouds our judgment. That's why we pray "keep us from temptation." Avoiding the fog by steering around it is much better than trying to navigate through it. 

Years ago, as a way to keep his head clear, Randy Alcorn created a list of the ways he would bring destruction into his life and others' lives were he to give…
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